You can't exactly put your finger on it, but somehow your job has started sucking the life force out of you.
Every day you feel a little more depressed, a little more like maybe you should just call in sick and sit home and binge watch "Friends."
Still, the thought of looking for another job is even more depressing. There's the business of writing the resume. You know you'll face rejections. You'll have to go on interviews, and that means you're going to have to iron something to wear. Ugh.
OK, maybe things aren't that bad at work, you think. Maybe you will somehow pull yourself out of this rut. After all, it's better to keep bringing home a paycheck than going through the hassle of a new job hunt. Who knows...the next job might be even worse.
Stop. It's time to listen to your gut and what you're trying to ignore: You need to look for another job because your current position is in trouble.
How do you know your time is limited in your current job and you need to get your resume together? Consider these signs:
- The paper trail. I'm always amazed when people don't understand that a case is being built against them whenever they start getting those snarky memos from managers, using words and phrases like "failed" and "falls short" and "not up to standards" and "missed deadlines."
- The "whammo" performance evaluation. Sort of a Whack-a-Mole game for managers, where everything positive you bring up is slapped down. Another sign a case is being built against you.
- You have tread marks on your back. Those are signs that others have been running you over on their way to promotions that should have been yours. Missing a couple of opportunities may not be a big deal, but more than that means you're on the fast track to doomed.
- You repel money. Pay raises? Forget it. Your budget is reduced or put under the jurisdiction of someone else. You're not part of a project that is expected to bring in big money or spend big money. The office manager always seems to lose your request for new equipment.
- Everyone is too busy for you. Your calls are not being returned, and your e-mails seem to suffer the same fate. You're not included in key meetings, and no one stops to shoot the breeze with you anymore. While you may think this is OK, it's really a sign that others perceive you as someone on the outs.
Finally, keep in mind it's much better to be looking for work on your terms. It's always easier to look for a job when you have a job. Don't wait until it's too late and you're forced to join the unemployed line.
This is an updated version of an earlier column.